Tag Archives: Windows 7

Why I left Windows behind.

Ever since my youth I was Windows fanboy and a Mac hater. I swore to never ever become like those “Mac fanboys“, I scoffed even at the idea…

Alas – My newly found pains with Windows:

1. Background services are priority over focused application

I have a theory that Windows prioritizes Services over the focused application. It is very rare that I see an app on my Mac ‘hang’ or get slow. Hanging apps just sometimes happen on Windows and you sit and wait. This may be why clicking things sometimes feels slightly slow.

2. Slow to open an Application

If I were to race my Mac and Windows opening identical applications, my money would be on my Mac. Can’t say why, but clicking things just happen faster on the mac.

2. Latency between click and response

On a Mac clicking something seems to happen ‘now’ as appose to in a moment on Windows. The time difference is probably only a handful of milliseconds. Perhaps Windows just likes to animate transitions bit more, but snappiness certainly feels better.

3. Heavy OS

Windows seems to like to make itself visible via animations, sounds, alerts, task bar notifications. Sometimes I just want to focus, but Windows has something it thinks is important for me now. I can’t help but feel that Windows has many moving parts that aren’t per-se coordinated.

5. Stability over time

With age, a Windows machine get’s bogged down by … something. Clutter of background services, taskbar apps, updaters, or something. But even cleaning these up and defragging only seems to go so far. Wiping the and reloading seems to be the only surefire way to make a Windows machine truly fast again. On my Mac, I swear I just have to reboot it (because it’s probably been ┬ámonth).

6. Frequent reboots required

Speaking of reboots. I’ve had my Mac hit 100+ days of uptime with hardly any issues. This is completely unheard of in the Windows universe. Having an uptime of 7 days, is pretty good for a Windows machine (I have managed 60 +days, but it’s pretty rough by then). With a Windows machine the default it to ‘shut it down’. They just weren’t built for longevity. You constantly must reboot.

7. Long boot time and resume time

When you do reboot, it time for a coffee break. Reboot a Mac, and you might have time to stand up, stretch your arms. When in the workplace, the reboot sound on a Mac is a mark of ‘shame’. Everyone looks around for who was the one that had to reboot their Mac, *gasp*.

8. Sounds, sounds everywhere

Speaking of sounds. Why must every-little-thing make sounds on a Windows machine. Am I right angry little elephant Windows sound? Turning off Windows sounds is the first thing I do on a new install of Windows. Every once and a while they turn themselves back on when you accidentally set a theme instead of a new wallpaper.

9. Lack of SSH

Not to say you can’t install SSH, but the lack of it is a bit of a bummer I can’t SSH from just any Windows machine. Though I hear this has recently changed maybe.


Well thems my thoughts. With all that said… Ironically I still love and use my Windows machines. I didn’t really leave it behind.

Tip: Hibernate – Sleep – Shutdown

Just to clear things up, I though I would quickly go through the differences of Hibernate, Sleep, and a full shutdown of any computer.

RAM makes the all difference!

The main difference has to do with how RAM is being used. So let me give a quick understanding of what RAM is and how it is used.

RAM is temporary ‘running’ memory. When a computer is booting up, it really is loading all the necessary files to work over into RAM. Now RAM also used to remember what programs you have open, what web page you are one, what you have typed but haven’t saved yet, and so on. Simply put, it tires the state of thing.

Now we can dive into the differences.

Shutdown

Scraps all data in RAM, forgetting the state of things on screen, then powers off all components (RAM chip, CPU, keyboard, screen, wifi card, etc).

Sleep

Continues to supply a little power to RAM chip keeping the state of thing. But powers off all other components (CPU, keyboard, screen, wifi card, etc). This means it can pick up where it left off very quickly, just need to power on all other components. Mac Laptops are well known for this, windows can do it as well.

Hibernate

Saves a copy of everything in RAM to the hard drive. This allows it to scrap everything in RAM and powers off all components (RAM chip, CPU, keyboard, screen, wifi card, etc) this consuming no power. When powered back on, it can restore the state to RAM as it was from the Hard drive, picking up where it left off. It can take a bit longer to save and restore the RAM, the benefit is mainly no battery drain.

What is best?

Which is best to use? Well that’s up to you. For me it largely depends on how long I will be away. Sleep short, hibernate long, shutdown long or weekly.

A rhyming rule of thumb:
Out for a treat – then sleep
Out for a date – then hibernate
Out for weekend cool down – then shutdown

Nevertheless, now you know!

Tip: Windows Alt+Tab Order

The revised Windows 7 and Windows 8 Alt+Tab has been bugging me for a couple years now. The Alt+Tab order is (or seems to be) ordered completely randomly. This prevents quickly ALt+Tab switching between two programs.

I finally took the time to find the the fix, Add the following DWORD key to the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AltTabSettings = 1

This enables the old Alt+Tab behavior. It does remove Aero Peak and thumbnails of each app unfortunately. It’s better to have something functional than shiny.

Note: I noticed a pattern, when you minimize a window, that window goes to the last in the order. I suppose the logic presumed is that you are wanting that application out of the way if you are minimizing it.

Source: SuperUser.com – Getting back the old alt-tab windows switching behavior in Windows 7?